Sport
Oral Answers to Questions — Culture, Media and Sport
9:30 am

Photo of Charlotte Leslie

Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West, Conservative)

What steps she is taking with her ministerial colleagues in other Government Departments to advance the role of sport.

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Hugh Robertson (The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)

The Prime Minister has established the Cabinet Committee on Olympic and Paralympic Legacy, through which all Departments are working together to deliver a tangible and lasting legacy from London 2012. Sport is at the heart of that process.

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Charlotte Leslie (Bristol North West, Conservative)

It is evident that sport has a vital role in improving behaviour in schools and health outcomes, and in preventing youth offenders from reoffending, as I have seen at Ashfield young offenders institution near my constituency. Will the Minister pledge to work with colleagues from across Departments to ensure that such interventions are available to young people so that they can turn their lives around?

Photo of Hugh Robertson

Hugh Robertson (The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)

Absolutely. That process is already happening, as is evident from the work that the Department of Health does through Change4Life clubs, the work of the National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine, and the cross-departmental funding for the school games.

Photo of Gregg McClymont

Gregg McClymont (Shadow Minister (Work and Pensions); Cumbernauld, Kilsyth and Kirkintilloch East, Labour)

The Minister will be aware that betting on sport has always been central to the business model of betting shops, but a new development is the use of fixed odds betting terminals. Their high stakes and speed of play have led them to be described as the “crack cocaine of gambling”. In my constituency, there are more than 50 such terminals. What does the Minister intend to do about this problem?

Photo of Hugh Robertson

Hugh Robertson (The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)

I am not entirely sure what that question had to do with advancing the role of sport. The answer on FOBTs, which emerged in the middle of the question, is that they are subject to the triennial review of stakes and prizes, which has just been launched. The Responsible Gambling Trust is just launching the largest ever consultation into the effect of FOBTs. If, as I suspect, it shows that there is a problem that needs to be addressed, that problem it will be addressed.

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John Bercow (Speaker)

The Minister rightly implies that there was an elastic interpretation of what constitutes sport. We will leave it at that for the time being.

Photo of Clive Efford

Clive Efford (Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport); Eltham, Labour)

Today’s report by Ofsted on sport in schools calls on the Government to devise

“a new national strategy for PE and school sport that builds on the successes of school sport partnerships”.

Those partnerships have been totally undermined by this Government. It is unacceptable that six months after the Olympics, we are still waiting for the Government to deliver a coherent sports strategy. If they continue to delay, they will fail the generation that we should be inspiring. How many more damning reports need to be published before the Minister gets it and the Government deliver the sporting legacy that our children deserve?

Photo of Hugh Robertson

Hugh Robertson (The Minister of State, Department for Culture, Media and Sport; Faversham and Mid Kent, Conservative)

First, the Opposition spokesman should not conflate sport legacy with a school sport policy. He is well aware that the sport legacy is going extraordinarily well. He tends never to mention that 1.75 million people are now playing sport who were not playing sport at the time of the bid. There is also a range of international events, and around the globe 14 million extra children have been touched by sport.

If the hon. Gentleman is going to criticise sport provision on the back of the Ofsted report, he should wake up to the fact that it covers 2008 to 2012—throughout the period in which the school sport partnerships were operating. If he wishes to see them reintroduced, he has to explain to the House and others how they would be funded, about which we have heard not a jot from the Opposition since the election.